In Fall 2019 Pierre Jardin was a Visiting Scholar at CU Boulder’s Center for the Study of Origins. Using materials collected from nearby Boulder Creek, he created this table-top garden for the Center’s beautiful space, which looks out on the Flat Irons and Front Range of the Rockies. The didactic for the garden is below.
This tribute to the CSO invites the viewer to project themselves into a ‘Petriverse,’ where they can trace itineraries along aligned stones and among rock formations and stands of thistle trees. The mind molds calmly onto a world of curvilinear forms, moving around a lithic landscape tumbled smooth by countless years in flowing water. All materials were collected during stonefishing stops along Boulder Creek on the artist’s velocipedic commute to the SEEC building.
This imaginary landscape opens up different dimensions as it is seen from different disciplinary perspectives. Archaeologists might envision it as a Megalithic Monument of the late Geolithic, whose stacked stone orbs were meant to attract and welcome cosmic deities to Earth.
Geologists, cognizant of Colorado petrology, will see “the long and the short of it”: bluish-whitish gnarled gneiss and speckled granites from Precambrian times, at the very origins of the state’s formation; smooth porphyry that is progeny of the Laramide orogeny that uplifted the Rockies ca. 50 million years ago.
Humanists might discern a petric poetics at play, where the intrusion of language in the landscape is smoothed over by signifiers being configured in archetypal forms (circle, half-circle, snake).
The CSO Petriverse is dedicated to the Fall 2019 Community of Scholarly Outsiders (CSO), visiting scholars David Ilan and Zee Perry, graduate students Kelly Carscadden, Kaitlyn Davis, Devin Pettigrew, and Sierra Standish, and program manager Ali Laird.